Second Deep Bottom
Henrico County, VA | Aug 13 - 20, 1864
As he had done in late July during the Battle of the Crater, Lieut. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant called upon Maj. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock and his Second Corps to attack Gen. Robert E. Lee's forces around Richmond to exploit suspected weaknesses in Lee's lines. In early August, Grant had detached the Sixth Corps from the Union lines around Richmond and Petersburg and sent them to the Shenandoah Valley under Maj. Gen. Phil Sheridan. Sheridan's new army there was to counter Gen. Jubal Early, then operating in the valley. In response, Lee detached one division of infantry and one of cavalry west to support Early. Grant believed Hancock could exploit Lee's weakened defenses in front of Richmond. Again, Hancock would lead his force north across the James River to the Deep Bottom area. During the night of August 13-14, the Union Second Corps, Tenth Corps, and a cavalry division crossed the James River. On August 14th, the Tenth Corps closed on New Market Heights while the Second Corps extended the Federal line to the right along Bailey’s Creek. On August 16th, Union assaults near Fussell’s Mill were initially successful, but Confederate counterattacks drove the Federals out of a line of captured works. Heavy fighting continued throughout the remainder of the day. Confederate Brig. Gen. John R. Chambliss, Jr. was killed during cavalry fighting on Charles City Road. After continued skirmishing, the Federals returned to the south side of the James on the 20th, maintaining their bridgehead at Deep Bottom.